Royal Priesthood – Part 3: How Do You Explain a Resurrected God-Man?

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empty-tombAbusive spiritual authority is epidemic. Reactionary responses to abusive authority are also epidemic. My friends Don Atkin, Greg Austin, and myself address what genuine kingdom authority looks like: a serving nation of priests, patterned after the Head, the High Priest of our faith, the resurrected God-man, Jesus, the Messiah. That requires, as Desi used to say to Lucy, “some ‘splainin’.”

The first generation apostles faced many interesting challenges. Before facing the issues of legalism and Gnosticism, they had the unenviable task of trying to explain, to themselves and others . . . “What just happened?!”  A resurrected God-Man, Lord of glory who walked among us, requires . . . uh, “a little explanation!”  They also had the difficult task of trying to figure out just how new the “new” covenant is from all that they had understood up to that point.

Imagine being a Levite who has believed in Jesus, seen Him alive from the dead. The week before resurrection, you were serving God by sacrificing animals, and now in one weekend’s time, your career, your devotion to God, everything you have believed and practiced, is blasphemous, and an insult to the God you profess to love. That is a bit of a difficult “change” to process.  Sometimes change in God’s way of doing things is very unsympathetic to the “human complications” associated with aligning with the change He brings. Throw in, “God forbid,” the Gentiles getting in on things, and, well, it’s quite a stew.

I trust we can have some respect and sympathy for the daunting nature of the task facing the first generation apostles.

Of course, the apostles had the Torah, Psalms and prophets at hand—all the Mosaic law and the prophets. From that scripture base they tried to explain this crucified and resurrected Lord, and to explain the new “arrangement” (covenant) of God’s dealings with humanity. How the apostles handled the Torah, how they interpreted and applied it, is the “scriptural” basis for the legitimacy of Christianity. The first century squabbles with the Jews were all hermeneutical[1] fights. The apostles had the unenviable task of trying to claim continuity with the old order and differentiation from it at the same time. It wasn’t easy then, it’s not easy now.

The Jews took strong objection to how the apostles went about this with nonliteral interpretations and applications. The apostles attempted to explain Jesus from a Torah-base of two primary passages of scripture: Psalm 2 and Psalm 110.

It’s an understatement to say that these two passages, as the apostles applied them, are the foundation for everything we believe in the new covenant era. There are more references to Psalm 110 in the New Testament scriptures than any other Old Testament passage. The apostolic exegesis and application of these two Psalms is the “scriptural” foundation for all other subsequent New Testament doctrine, including Paul’s.

These Psalms were written by and for David. However, by the spirit of revelation in the apostles, they were applied to Christ in resurrection. Apostolic revelation takes precedence over biblical literalism. The Scriptures mean what the apostles say they mean. If we do not believe this, we need to rethink the implications of our belief systems. Much is at stake.

These two Psalms deal with kingship and priesthood as they relate to Messiah. Since as He is, so we are in this world, we cannot bypass the importance of these two Psalms.

This blog is an excerpt of our book: Royal Priesthood: The Pathway to Kingdom Authority, available at www.stevecrosby.com

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Copyright 2014,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephrcrosby@gmail.com. #www.badchurchexperience.com

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[1] The science and art of biblical interpretation.

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10 comments on “Royal Priesthood – Part 3: How Do You Explain a Resurrected God-Man?

  1. What you said here, “These Psalms were written by and for David. However, by the spirit of revelation in the apostles, they were applied to Christ in resurrection. Apostolic revelation takes precedence over biblical literalism. The Scriptures mean what the apostles say they mean. If we do not believe this, we need to rethink the implications of our belief systems. Much is at stake.” is sooooo true. I’ve known before I even stepped into my own apostolic ministry when I was still functioning in the teaching ministry how true this is. Bringing people the spiritual reality of the foreshadows was a daunting task even 7 years ago. More people are getting it though as the Lord opens their understanding to understand the Scriptures. But as I have been saying for years, “The spiritual resurrected Jesus Christ does not represent the physical house of David, or the physical Tribe of Judah, or the physical nation of Israel. Jesus Christ is Spirit and His words are spirit. “As Jesus is, so are we” means that those who are spiritual (composed of almost exclusively Gentiles in this Church era) are the true Jews—not national Israel and Judah. Jesus fulfilled all that is written in the Law of Moses and all the prophets—it ALL pertains to Jesus, and thus it all pertains to us (‘upon whom the ends of the ages are come,’ 1 Corinthians 10:11).”

  2. The problem with understanding scripture properly is to understand the author first..once you know him ontologically then you can know him epistemologically..get that reversed and your looking for confusion.

    • Hi Kenneth. I agree totally. I shared that precise thought with someone, and he went off on me, accused me of all sorts of things. There is an idolatrous worship of the book that is very prevalent out there. worshipping the letter. I told him that if my epistemology was all wrong, but I knew him as alive from the dead, that I could be very effective for the kingdom. Man, he did not like that.

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